The five best anti-procrastination techniques you didn't know about

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Procrastination is a common enemy in every workplace. No matter what field you specialise in, where you work or what you do, procrastination will be waiting to pounce.

The addictive nature of social media is a problem for even the most focused worker, while the regular interruptions of email and instant chat make putting things off increasingly easy.

Wipe out distractions and storm your to-do list with these five anti-procrastination tips you probably didn’t know existed.

Gamify it

Have some fun with the tasks you least want to do by making a game of it. Peak performance specialist at Phoenix Rising Rosie McIntyre suggests setting time trials and even competing for personal bests.

“From a psychological perspective you end up getting into the flow and getting through more than you would expect,” she says.

App-ly yourself

Apps may be a welcome source of procrastination, but they can also help to reduce it. If you find yourself sucked in by social media, go for Anti-Social or SelfControl. Both will block sites such as Facebook and Twitter for as long as you like. If you need to cut out the internet altogether, try freedom, StayFocusd or LeechBlock.

Outsource

Outsourcing is the modern day equivalent of Jeeves the butler. Sites such as Freelancer and Airtasker are quick, easy and cheap use, making outsourcing a no-brainer time-saving solution.

Work smart by selecting tasks that actually need your expertise instead of automatically adding every incoming job to your to-do list.

Hold up, do I really need to do this?

Work smart by selecting tasks that actually need your expertise instead of automatically adding every incoming job to your to-do list.

“Busy is the new sexy these days and people who are not busy are seen to be not achieving anything,” McIntyre says.

“But busy people don’t often take the time to ask, ‘Why am I doing this in the first place?’.”

Chunk down

Break down seemingly insurmountable jobs into a series of small achievable tasks. If you find you’re still putting off one of those tasks, it’s time to get help, says professional organiser at WellSorted Virginia Wells.

“After breaking it up into smaller chunks, look at the information and get help from someone else about how to do it right,” she says.

“So if you’re presenting a webinar and don’t know how to do it, seek out a course before actually going ahead.”

Kate Hague

Kate Hague is a Melbourne-based journalist who covers small business and finance.

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